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Your last Will and Testament is one of the most important documents you will ever sign.

It says WHO is important to YOU, as well as
WHAT is important to YOU!


If You Have a Will Is It Due For An Overhaul?

If you answer 'true' to any of the following statements, maybe it's time to consider reviewing your will.
  • My family needs and goals have changed
  • Recent estate tax reforms may affect my situation
  • I have moved to/from another state or country
  • My youngest child has reached legal age
  • I have new children or grandchildren
  • My marital status has changes
  • The property I own has undergone changes
  • I haven't fulfilled my charitable goals

Reasons Why People Leave A Legacy

  • To help a favorite charity continue its mission
  • To fulfill their lifelong goals
  • To give back to an organization or to the community
  • To attain a sense of satisfaction - giving makes people feel good
  • To show gratitude for assistance in time of need
  • To honor family or friends
  • To take advantage of tax savings
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How To Create Your Legacy

  • Reflect on your life values and what has been important to you
  • Contact your favorite nonprofit organizations to find out more information about programs, services and needs
  • Evaluate your financial assets and consult a professional for guidance in planning process
  • Take action - work with professional advisor to write or review your will, establish an estate plan, and review your assets on a regular basis

Planned Giving Terms

Planned Gifts - Include gifts through your will, charitable gift annuities, beneficiary of life insurance, and pooled income funds. This giving often allows a donor to increase income, avoid taxes, and make a generous gift to one or more charitable organizations in the future.

Bequests - Provision in a person's will, which leaves money or another asset to a charitable organization, church, and/or nonprofit group. The charitable gift is not included in the donor's taxable estate.

Beneficiary Designations - A charitable organization may be listed as a beneficiary of retirement plan benefits and IRAs. Donor can avoid both federal estate taxes and income taxes if they are made payable at death to a charitable organization or to a charitable remainder trust. Life insurance policies may be contributed to a charitable organization by irrevocably changing the policy ownership and beneficiary to the organization.

Trust Designation - Establishing a Living Trust, also called Revocable Trust, may designate that at death a particular asset or dollar amount go to a charity. Living Trusts generally hold all assets of an individual and thus avoids probate as to such assets.

Life Income Gifts - Allow donors to increase income, save taxes and make generous charitable gifts. Gifts are irrevocable.

Remainder - The portion of a planned gift that remains after the life of the donor to further the organization's mission.

Charitable Gift Annuity - Contract between donor and charitable organization. The donor gives a gift and the organization guarantees to pay an annual amount for the lifetime of one or two people. The annual payout is fixed and cannot be changed.

Deferred Gift Annuity - The donor makes the gift now, but the payments to the beneficiary are deferred until a later time, often a specific age. Because the gift has an opportunity to grow, the payments are often larger, as is the final remaining amount that the organization may use.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust - This requires a legal agreement involving a donor, a trustee and one or more charities. Donor permanently transfers assets to the trust, but the charitable beneficiary may be changed. When trust is formed, a payout rate (at least 5%) is set. Each year this rate is applied to the Unitrust amount, which is paid annually to the donor or another beneficiary. The donor may continue to make contributions to the trust.

Charitable Annuity Trust - Similar to the Unitrust except it pays a fixed amount per year. This dollar payout is set when annuity trust is established. Donor may not add additional assets to the trust.

Charitable Lead Trust - Charitable organization receives income from a trust for a set number of years. At the end of the term the assets are returned to family members designated by donor.

Life Estate Reserved for Residence or Farm - A donor deeds his or her residence or farm to a charitable organization with the right to live in (or rent out) the home or farm while the donor is alive.

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Selection of a Professional Advisor

It is important that you research and utilize all the appropriate resources available to you in your estate planning process. The following information may be helpful to you in your search and selection of your advisory team appropriate for your planning needs.

Accountants advise their clients on a variety of tax and financial planning decisions. They are often in the best position to help donors assess the impact of a particular gift on the donor's personal financial situation as well as any estate planning repercussions or opportunities that might result from a gift.

Attorneys provide legal advice on the gift planning process and execution of the plan to assure compliance with the state and federal regulations. They are the only professionals who are qualified to draft the legal documents involved in the planned giving process [wills, trusts, etc]. Attorneys are also most helpful in determining the legal requirements surrounding a gift in your state of residency.

Financial Advisors assist in all aspects of a donor's personal financial life. They can help determine the impact that the making of a gift will have on the donor's personal investment plan. They can assist in selecting the most appropriate financial asset to be used as a gift and can assist in the actual transfer of that asset into a trust vehicle or to the recipient of the planned gift. The involvement of the financial advisor can continue with the management of the gifted assets after these assets have been placed in a trust or other vehicle.

Life Insurance Advisors can assist in the gifting and estate planning processes and can help donors understand the role of life insurance in those processes. In addition, these advisors are most helpful in advising on the designation and monitoring of charitable beneficiaries for life insurance and annuity policies.

Trust Services are needed when a donor uses a charitable trust in the gifting process. The trust service advisor can assist in the establishment and ongoing maintenance of those trusts. They can help the donor integrate estate planning, investment planning and management, family wealth transfer planning, income tax planning and charitable giving.

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Finding an Advisor That's Right For You

If you are searching for a professional advisor for the first time, seeking additional assistance or looking for someone who better meets your planning needs, the following questions might be helpful to you in finding the best resource people. Many advisors will offer a free or reduced fee for first time consultation, so you may want to ask about this option.

  • Does the advisor's core business match the kind of legal or financial advice you are looking for?
  • Does the advisor's training supports the level of help you are possibly going to need?
  • In scheduling a first time appointment/consultation, did you sense the advisor was interested in you and your needs?
  • Was the advisor a good communicator and respond to your questions and provide appropriate information?
  • What was your overall comfort level while talking to the advisor?

Asset Planning Guide - Estate Planning Resource

A useful handbook to help you compile your personal and financial inventory. It is also your own 'history' book, which will provide valuable information to your family members in case of unforeseen circumstances. For more information contact one of the LEAVE A LEGACY® Mankato Area Professional Advisors or Nonprofit members listed on the website.

Request for Speakers Bureau Presentation

LEAVE A LEGACY® Mankato Area has volunteers who are trained to speak to nonprofit boards or gatherings of individual supporters of your organization. Presentations are 30-45 minutes in length and will be adapted to your needs. A 9-minute video is part of the session. Please go to "Contact Us" link for more information.

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  • Plan for your Future
  • Identify Your Assets
  • List Your Charitable Gifts
  • Obtain or Review Your Will
  • Learn About Your Options
  • Call A Professional Advisor
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